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Last updated
08-13-17 08:07 AM
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San Diego Senior Softball
Dave Hunt
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XMen-2017_FW_PO_Champs.jpg
Monday, March 13
The Most Interesting Team in Dana Senior Softball...

Rarely has a Dana Sr. Softball team been so dominate as the X-MEN were this season. From the very start of the season all the way through, they proved to be the preeminent team on the field. Winning both the league title as well as the season ending Tourney, has secured the X-MEN as one of the truly elite in Dana Senior Softball. While scoring 293 runs was assuredly remarkable, their defense only allowing 13 runs per game is unequaled in Dana Softball history (fact check pending). They only had to bat 3 times to win most games.

Little is known as to why the X-MEN perform so well. Is it the superior coaching and managing by Joe Mackey and Norm Young? Such leadership is truly lacking in our era. Or is it the wizardry of the Cardinal jersey that transforms these seemingly mediocre players, at draft time, into a team of super heroes on the softball field?

Coach Mackey (who obviously penned this article) is self-quoted as saying,” first CIF Champs, now Dana Champs, is this the Year of Joe or what? I ‘m going to Disneyland.



XMen-2016FW_Champs.jpg
Sunday, February 26
X-Men win the 2016-2017 Fall-Winter Regular Season
The Cardinal X-Men, strong all season, won the championship going away with a 2 1/2 game finish over the 2nd place Gray Gravediggers.   The X were 10-1-1 and scored a league high 242 runs.  Equally impressive, the X-Men did it pretty much themselves, rarely drafting anayone during the entire season.  Asked about his secrets for drafting such a strong team, manager Joe Mackey replied, "I just pretend like it's football and pick players who can go both ways!"

Purple_Playoff_Champs_Summer2016.jpg
Saturday, October 29
Purple Haze wins the 2016 summer league playoffs

Purple Haze won its second-in-a-row season ending playoff champiosnhip, defeating the Red Diehards in a close game.  Final score was 18-15 with Red scoring five in the last inning to close the gap.  In the semi-final games, Purple outlasted the Royal Blue Dodgers 17-13 and Red held on against Gray, winning by one run.  The final out was recorded as Gray had the tying run on 3rd.  In the earlier game, which was extremely close, Purple and Royal Blue were tied after the 4th, 6th, and 7th innings.  Purple scored four in the 8th while the Dodgers got but one.   Purple got two more in the open inning but the Dodgers could only add one more to close out the game.   This makes three seasons in a row where the team that finished 3rd in the regular season ended up winning the playoffs!

 



Red_2016Sum_Champs_sm.jpg
Friday, October 21
Red Diehards win the 2016 Summer Season Championship!
With convincing wins in their final five games, the Red Diehards outlasted the Royal Blue Dodgers to claim first place for the 2016 Summer Season.  Although both teams were tied with 10-4 records, in the two head-to-head games, which they split, Red outscored Royal Blue to gain the overall edge.

R_Brown_BD.jpg
Friday, August 19
Robert Brown celebrates his 72nd birthday!
R_Brown_BD2.jpg
Beloved Dana player, Robert Brown, celebrated his 72nd birthday at his home in Valencia Park with family and friends.  Robert is taking this season off to deal with medical issues but he is looking forward to returning soon and almost everyone, except perhaps opposing pitchers, will be happy to see him back on the field!

July4-2016 (1280x897).jpg
Monday, July 4
July 4 2016 Celebrated with Dana Family Softball!
33 Dana players and their family/friends turned out for two fun scrimmages to celebrate July 4.  The first game ended in a tie as Rich Tapia drove in the final run before being thrown out at home by Pat Canney.  Pat had previously thrown out Rich's son Riche at third base, making up for his otherwise dismal performance at the plate.  The second game ended after about six innings due to inclement weather, with Dave Tessmer's team pulling out a narrow victory due to solid hitting by Steve Robinson's daughter in law, Jillian, who managed two doubles to the fences in left.

Purple_Playoff_Champs.jpg
Saturday, July 2
Purple Haze wins the spring league playoffs

In the first semifinal game against the Red Diehards, Purple Haze came to bat in the open inning ninth down 10-6. Manager Dave Hunt told his team, “everyone hits.” Having only scored one run on the previous six innings, it was mostly wish. But this is senior softball.

After opening walks to Rob and Dave, the next eight hitters got hits, most solid, some error aided. Purple had batted around and score seven runs to take the lead! But they were not done. The next seven batters all got hits their second time up in the ninth to make it 16 on base in a row. Purple had scored seven more and was now up by ten runs, 20-10. Red managed a couple runs in their half of the ninth but the final score was 20-12.

In the 2nd semifinal game it was Royal Blue vs X-Men. It was a close game for the first half but then Royal Blue kept scoring while the X-Men stopped hitting. Final score was 22-11 and for the second season in a row the top two season finishers did not win a playoff game.

The championship game thus pitted Royal Blue vs Purple Haze. A coin flip determined home team which was won by Purple.

It was a close, but low scoring game throughout, 5-2 Purple after two, 5-3 after four, and 7-5 Purple after six. Purple added two more in the 7th and then the Dodgers put across three in the 8th. Purple then scored three of their own to take a 12-8 lead into the ninth. And that would be the final score.

Congratulations to playoff champions Purple Haze!



X-Men_2016Spr_Champs.jpg
Saturday, July 2
The XMen win the Spring regular season
Strong all year, the XMen put away Purple Haze in the next-to-last game of the season to take first place with one week to go.   Purple was only a 1/2 game back.  But the X took care of business, winning their final game to clinch first place for the season with a 10-3-1 record.   The XMen had a fantastic run differential of 57, giving up only 198 runs all season.

MemDay2016.jpg
Wednesday, June 1
Memorial Day 2016 Celebrated with Dana Family Softball!

40 Dana players and their families came out to share fun, food, and most of all softball for two games on Memorial Day.

In the 9:30 game, manager Rich Tapia stacked his team with both his son and Norm Young’s three sons. They easily dispatched Pat Canney’s team, despite the solid center field defense from Brian Lamb’s daughter Teagan. Dave Hunt and Dax Young each had two home runs for the winning team.

In the second game, a more methodical choice of teams resulted in a close game with Dave Tessmer’s team down only two runs in the final innings. Rich Tapia, who snuck into the second game, was the last batter and he came through, driving in the winning run to send Randy Gage’s team to a one run defeat. For the most part, the women in these two games, Angela Tessmer-Wagner, Megan Church, Krista Rask, and Jillian Robinson, out-played the men.

Subsequently, Rules Commissioner Norm Young was besieged with requests to lower the legal age for women wanting to play at Dana to 19. We all eagerly await his answer.

Photos of many of the family members who played with us today are on the web site under Photos – MemorialDay2016.

The league will consider having another set of family games on Monday July 4.



Saturday, April 9
Chuck Eskins Leads His Navy Blue Team To Victory!
The winless Navy Blue team was missing their number two and three draft choices (and Pepe) so things did not look good for them.  No pressure for Chuck - he merely was on base all five at bats with four walks and a solid single.  And pitched a stellar game, including catching an infield pop up.   Final score - Navy Blue 19, Green 17.  Way to go Chuck!


Red_PO_Champs_Mar2016.jpg
The Red Diehards win the 2015/2016 Season Playoffs
Saturday, March 5
Red Diehards and Squirrels go from last to best!
Purple_Season_Champs_Mar2016.jpg
Purple Haze are the 2015/2016 regular season champions

 

At various points in the season, both the Diehards and Squirrels occupied last place in the standings.  A contoversial mid-season assignment of Randy Gage gave the Red team new life and they surged to a 3 way tie for first place by season's end.  Meanwhile, the Squirrels finally installed Joe Juhasz at shortstop and he helped anchor a late season comeback as the Squirrels finished 5th.

 In week 1 of the playoffs,  the Squirrels beat Navy Blue 13-11 and then walloped the Grey Ghosts 17-9 to advance to the 2nd week of playoffs.  The X-Men, winners of the first playoff game in Week 1, fell to the Diehards 14-5 who then also advanced to the final week.

Game 1 of the semifinals pitted the Diehards against the Greenhuts.   Green got out to a quick 5-0 lead but lost their early momentum while Red came to life.  Final score Red 18 Green 8.   In the other semifinal game, the Squirrels scored 10 in their first two at bats.  Purple answered with just 2, but then held the Squirrels scoreless in the next two innings.  Alas, Purple could only peck away and found themsleves still down by six in the bottom of the 8th.  They went scoreless again, the Squirrels added two more and it was just too much.  Final score 19-13 as the Squirrels won their 3rd playoff game in a row.  Could they make it four?

In the championship game, the Squirrels won the toin coss and elected to be home team.  It would be a fateful choice as for the third game in a row, the visiting team would prevail.  The game was close for a while but then the Diehards pulled away while the Squirrels seemed to go into a late winter hibernation.   Final score, Red Diehards 27, Squirrels 16.



PaulN_plays_for_Red-2.jpg
Sunday, February 28
Paul Nettinga shows his true colors!
In week 1 of the playoffs, star player Paul Nettinga from Purple Haze agreed to sub in for the Red Diehards. Trying to blend in, he donned his favorite red outfit. Somehow, Red still managed to win their game. 

Saturday, March 5
Final standings for the Winter 2015/2016 Season - our closest finish ever!
With two weeks to go in the season, any team could have finished first OR last.  In the end, three teams tied for first with Purple taking the honors due to having the best runs for/runs against result.   All in all, a very competitive season.  Congratulations to all!

Sunday, February 7
Week 12 (February 6) highlights courtesy of Joe Mackey

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The weather was perfect for a great day of senior softball. With parity encompassing the ranks of the Dana Softball League this year, only 1.5 games separating first from worst. It was appropriate that the cellar dwelling Squirrels easily took down the once feared Bronx Bombers, in a 20 to 12 sleeper of a game. Then the current first place team Purple Haze flexed their muscle against the surprising high ranked Red Die Hards in a 37-13 squeaker of a game. The mid day game featured the much improved Gray Ghosts taking advantage of the aging Green Huts. Using all their extra talent acquired by Rule 5 mid-season drafts of All Stars Gray continues their clime from worst to near first defeating Green 26-18. While the afternoon session pitted the “where did they go?” X-men, in a crucial match to see if the once heralded X-Men could regain their X-lent form of early this season. Missing 4 of their first five draft choices, the X-Men showed the grit and gut it takes to be Champions, taking out the hapless Black Blitz 25-20.

Next week could decide who’s name is on the trophy when X-Men and Purple Haze collide to decide.



P1000156-cr.jpg
Panorama of field taken on Thursday January 7
Sunday, January 10
January 9 games saved thanks to a secret ingredient!
P1000175.jpg
Field crew hard at work very early on Saturday January 9
Almost everyone thought that after four days of heavy rain we would NOT be playing softball on January 9th.  The first photo above is a panorama of the infield taken Thursday early morning while rain was still falling.  It tapered off and we had sun on Friday but there was standing water in a few spots.  Ron Chesebro volunteered to come out and work on the field.  He spent a few hours removing the water and raking places that needed to dry.   Early Saturday morning, a few of us came out and finished the job (photo immediately above).   What was the secret ingredient?  Six bags of kitty litter!   (Thanks to Norm Young for the suggestion).   The panorama below was taken around 7AM.   By mid morning the infield was completely dry.   But we had no problem playing even the 8:30am game.

P1000176-cr.jpg
Panorama taken at 7am on Saturday January 9

Saturday, January 9
The scrimmage games were fun for all involved!
P1000132-3.jpg
A fun scrimmage last Saturday. See Marshall run - was he safe at first? (click on Photos to see more photos from today)

Saturday, December 12
Red has another exciting finish!
Down by 21 runs going into the lext to the last inning, it looked like the Diehards would do just that.   But they managed to get the maximum of five runs before a flip flop last inning.  The merciful Gray Ghosts also lived up to their name, seeming to disappear on defense as the Red boys scored 16 runs (13 with two outs!!) to take a two run lead.   The Ghosts came up and quickly tied the game and had runners on first and second and no outs.  It looked like Red's comeback would be for naught. The next hitter lined to left field.  Lyle Nielsen dropped the ball but nabbed Angel Garcia at 3rd base for the first out.  Then the next batter hit into a game ending double play.  Final score 35-35.

Sunday, December 6
Red Gets Their First Win - Purple No Longer Unefeated!
Three home runs by Randy Gage and Robert Brown powered the Diehards to their first win, dealing Purple Haze their first loss.  It was a close game from the start, with four lead changes and a final score of 21-18. Defensively, Red turned in three double plays, including a game ender.  Despite the loss, the Haze retain a one game lead over Black Blitz, the Green Huts, and the X-Men.

Saturday, November 28
The Squirrels have another thriller!
One week after a heart breaking 36-35 loss, the Squirrels came up in the bottom of the last inning down 8 runs.  A bit better than last week when they trailed by 12.  But this time they would score 8 to tie the game before even the 2nd out was made.  A single to short right center offered the chance for a win, but Randy Gage's one hop throw nabbed Ed Jernigan by a step for out number two.  A fly out by the next hitter and it was time for a handshake and a kiss to your sister.  Final score 27-27.  After four games the Squirrels lead the league in runs scored with 102.  But they also lead the league in runs given up with 105.  The Red team got off the schneid with the tie.

Sunday, November 22
Blitz & Squirrels combine for 71 runs in 7 innings!

Game highlight from Saturday November 21.

The Squirrels started off with a perfect 5 runs in each of their first four innings. Then the Blitz surged back to tie the game. In the open inning Blitz scored 12 to take a seemingly insurmountable lead. But the Squirrels did not give up and got the tying run base, scoring 11. Alas, they came up one short.



Friday, November 13
With sadness, we annouce the passing of John Ciccone

The league expresses its condolences to the Ciccone family on the passing of John on November 9. John was active not only in our league for many years, but in many others, including managing a baseball team.

Pete Gaskin knew John well and adds these words:

John was my Dana senior softball league manager for many seasons and a few more with the North County Baseball team - "Yankees'. His love of the game was complete. His devotion to excellence on the field was pervasive. An excellent left handed hitter who could use the whole field; he could be counted on in the clutch. As the Manager he never varied in tone or observation; you always knew what John wanted of his players.

During the months John was in a drug trial program we used to meet almost weekly for lunch at the Point Loma Fish Company. I got to see another side of John outside of baseball but we did talk a lot of baseball. He talked often and proudly of the accomplishments of his only child, Anthony, on the baseball diamond, in law school at PITT, the impending wedding plans. Always upbeat he took on the fight one day at a time. He never gave up. A personality trait that I will always remember and admire him for.



Friday, November 20
We look forward to seeing John return to active duty!



We send healing wishes to John Spadea following his recent surgery. John appreciates all the calls and messages he has received and hopes to be back out to see us very soon. Meanwhile, he has a special secret friend who is providing extra comfort.

 

11/21/15 update - John came out for part of the day.   It was great to see him and welcome him back.



Wednesday, November 4
Purple takes first place in the Summer/Fall Season!
League Champs Last Season
This blatant attempt of publicity is because we want to start adding Dana softball photos to the web site.   If you have some, please email them to Dave Hunt.   uusancal@san.rr.com

Sunday, November 8
John Rawlings leads his Black Blitz team to victory in week 1 play!



Our beloved John Rawlings showed us again this past Saturday why any team he plays on will be glad to have him.  John batted six times, starting with a double and then adding 4 singles and a walk for a perfect 6 for 6 on base percentage.  At 90 years young, John is an inspiration to us all!

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